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They’re Called The Bushwick Hotel, But They Sleep Inside of ‘RV Keitel’

(Photos: Jesse Sposato)

(Photos: Jesse Sposato)

The Bushwick Hotel has figured out something most bands only dream of: how to tour without having to pay for hotels or even sleep on friends’ couches like nearly all Brooklyn musicians do when on the road. How, you might be wondering? The Bushwick-based band (hence their name) decided to forego the whole tour van thing and went straight to an RV – RV Keitel, that is, sometimes referred to as Camper Van Beethoven. (The RV’s name is ever-evolving—the band jokes that when they go to San Francisco, they’ll call it RV Milk!)
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When the Forward Building Rose Over the Lower East Side 'Like a Colossus'

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

Facade of the Jewish Daily Forward Building.

Facade of the Jewish Daily Forward Building.

On a warm June night in 2008 two officers of the NYPD’s 7th precinct picked up actress Tatum O’Neal as she was buying crack-cocaine outside her condo building in the Lower East Side. She told police she was researching an acting role.
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Happy 80th Birthday to America’s ‘First Experiment’ in Public Housing

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

First Houses, on the corner of Avenue A and East 3rd Street. (Photo: Lindsey Smith.)

First Houses, on the corner of Avenue A and East 3rd Street. (Photo: Lindsey Smith.)

The sleet beating down on East 3rd Street in January 1935 didn’t stop any of the hopeful applicants from standing in line for hours between 1st Avenue and Avenue A outside the office of the New York City Housing Authority. During the Great Depression people had gotten used to life in the queue. They did it for jobs, for public benefits, and for food. But this time the reason was altogether different.
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How the City’s First Community Garden Sprang From ‘Evil and Blackness’

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

(Photo: D.M. Mackey)

(Photo: D.M. Mackey)

A walk past the place where the Bowery meets East Houston gives not the slightest hint that until 40 years ago, this lush, fresh air respite called the Liz Christy Community Garden sheltered everyone from immigrants to swindlers, eventually deteriorating by the middle of the 20th century into an abandoned, garbage-strewn lot. In 1973, a group of local college students hauled away the trash, lay dirt and planted seeds. Later, the plot took the name of the art student who spearheaded the project.
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‘Cooper Square Is Here to Stay,’ But First They Had to Go On the Warpath

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

Cooper Square Protest Banner during the 1960s. Courtesy Cooper Square Committee.

Cooper Square Protest Banner during the 1960s. Courtesy Cooper Square Committee.

The buildings themselves never had many allies. Repeatedly condemned to death, 13 East Third Street, like its 20-odd siblings, stands in spite of itself, renovated rather than replaced. “I’m not a fan of them,” Val Orselli says as we peer out at an antique tenement from a window in his office.
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Yellow Fever and Red Scare: the Very Colorful History of Knickerbocker Village

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

Aerial view of Knickerbocker Village  (Courtesy Downtown Express).

Aerial view of Knickerbocker Village (Courtesy Downtown Express).

I’d only been in New York two months when I first saw Knickerbocker Village. I was standing on the East River Bikeway facing Brooklyn marveling at the enormity of it all when suddenly a splash in the river interrupted my daydream.
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These Luxury Lofts Are Home to Rock History and a Rocket-Related Mystery

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

The building at 104 South 4th Street today. (Photo: Courtesy of aptsandlofts.com)

The building at 104 South 4th Street today. (Photo: Courtesy of aptsandlofts.com)

“Launch yourself into Rocket Factory Lofts,” beckons the website of the building on South 4th Street, near the East River waterfront. “Experience authentic, industrial loft living in this former rocket and plane parts factory.”
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How a Home For the Homeless Became a Celebrity Crash Pad

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

295 East 8th Street (Daytonian.com)

295 East 8th Street (Daytonian.com)

An ad for apartment 2W, at 295 East 8th Street, calls it “the most WOW loft you’ll ever see, fit for anyone with a flair for the spectacular.” Matt Dillon once lived in the massive brick building at the corner of Avenue B, across from Tompkins Square Park.
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The Whitehouse Hotel: a Home For Transients, Now in Transition

(Photo: Makini Brice)

(Photo: Makini Brice)

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

The Whitehouse Hotel hasn’t been open since September 3, although a paper sign hanging in the window of the front door says the closure is only temporary. The end was so quick and unceremonious that even the hotel’s own website is still happily inviting prospective guests to billet at “the most affordable hostel with private accommodations in NYC.” Single rooms are on offer at rates as low as $30 a night. That is, until a look at the reservations calendar reveals consecutive dates colored in red for “unavailable” that stretch on to the end of 2015.
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Beneath Baruch Houses, a ‘Rough Block’ Wiped Off the Map

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

Demolition in Progress 83-90 Goerck st, Rivington-stanton, 1934-1938. (By NY Tenement House Authority.)

Demolition in Progress 83-90 Goerck st, Rivington-stanton, 1934-1938. (By NY Tenement House Authority.)

Walk as far east on Houston Street as you can until lines of imposing brick towers shoot up over the river – about 27 acres of them. The streets no longer make sense in context and the lines don’t link up with the grid. It’s like you’ve passed into another city. Instead of the jumble of old-fashioned tenements with ladders hanging out the windows coexisting with storefronts and street life, you encounter 17 almost uniform towers with yards of greenery surrounding them – a luxury of space rarely seen in Manhattan. These buildings are tough, institutional even, with their glazed red brick to discourage vandalism, lines of bars in windows and signs that say, “Welcome to Bernard Baruch Houses” outside each building.
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Christmas With the Deadbeats at Boss Tweed's Ludlow Street Jail

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

The exterior of the Ludlow Street Jail in 1895. (Source: Museum of the City of New York)

The exterior of the Ludlow Street Jail in 1895. (Source: Museum of the City of New York)

Christmas Day dinner at the Ludlow Street Jail in 1911 was outrageous. The Warden Thomas J. Rock served a lavish spread (turkey, sweet potatoes, celery, fruits, plum pudding, coffee, and even a Union-made cigar) and his prisoners, moved by their keeper’s kindness, presented Rock with something unexpected — a sixteen-inch silver loving cup, which they had managed to smuggle into the jail undetected. One prisoner, a lawyer locked up for failing to make alimony payments to his wife, stood to toast the Warden and gushed with sentiment.
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The Secret Lair of Dr. Strange, His Creators, and a Ghost of Christmas Past

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

A passerby casts a typical Dr. Strange magical spell.

A passerby casts a typical Dr. Strange magical spell.

If you walk past 177 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village and see a middle-aged guy in black clothes and a flowing red cape making a horn sign with both hands, watch out for the multi-dimensional mayhem about to be unleashed.

To us mere mortals, 177 Bleecker may be a stately Queen Anne-style apartment building that rises five stories above a busy Manhattan street. But in the Marvel universe, the building has long been the home of Dr. Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme who’ll be played by Benedict Cumberbatch in a hotly anticipated film. Since Marvel introduced the master magician to the comic world in the 1960s, he has lived in his Sanctum Sanctorum at 177 Bleecker Street, and much of the universe-threatening action perpetrated by the forces of darkness against our unsuspecting world has taken place within these walls.
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